Now that Busted’s James Bourne and Matt Willis have hooked up with McFly for a tour under the guise of supergroup McBusted, here’s a more in-depth look at two of the ’00s biggest boy bands-with-guitars.
Capitalising on the bratty punk-pop sound popularised by the likes of Good Charlotte and Avril Lavigne, British trio Busted offered a more teenybopper-friendly version when they burst on to the scene in 2002. Their self-titled debut album not only sold a million copies in the UK alone, it also spawned the first of their four number one singles (“You Said No”) and, arguably their signature hit, “Year 3000,” later covered of course by the Jonas Brothers.
After adding to their chart-topping tally with “Crashed The Wedding,” “Who’s David” and parent album A Present For Everyone, the band won Best Breakthrough and Best Pop Act at the BRIT Awards. The group then recorded the theme tune to the Thunderbirds movie and released a live album, A Ticket For Everyone. But by that point, Charlie Simpson had become increasingly frustrated with the band’s musical direction. And just weeks after leaving in late 2004 to concentrate on his new alt-metal group Fightstar, Busted called it a day.
With guitarist Tom Fletcher both a one-time member and a co-writer on their second studio effort, McFly were inevitably compared to Busted on their arrival in 2004. But the quartet soon went on to surpass the success of their predecessors. Debut single “Five Colours In Her Hair” became the first of seven UK number ones. Parent album Room On The 3rd Floor saw them become the youngest ever band to debut at the top of the British charts, while they also flirted with Hollywood by starring in Lindsay Lohan vehicle Just My Luck.
The band’s sound was also much more adventurous. 2005’s Wonderland took in everything from Beatles-esque pop (“All About You”) to theatrical prog-rock (“The Ballad Of Paul K”). 2010’s Above The Noise was an electro-tinged affair featuring collaborations with Taio Cruz and superstar producer Dallas Austin. The group recently celebrated their tenth anniversary together with the rousing country-folk of “Love Is On The Radio.”
Winner: Busted may have paved the way for McFly, but with six more years of chart success to their name, it’s Tom, Dougie, Harry and Danny who deserve top billing on next year’s tour.